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September 18th, 2007, 18:15
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Perhaps that's because we have so many options, as well as the leisure and means to explore and take advantage of them.
Well, western Europeans have considerably more leisure time than Americans; we work shorter hours and have longer vacations — so I don't think leisure can be a factor in the explanation. Of course, we earn less too, so that can have something to do with it; still, I don't think so, as we do have a high enough standard of living to afford stuff beyond the bare necessities.

However, the question is *why* do you have more options? There, I think the answers are cultural.

I've read descriptions of Europeans standing in queue for hours for a product but I suspect this is because of scarcity, not desire. It's certainly hard to determine which is the cause and which is the effect.
Actually, we rarely queue for products — that only really happened in socialist countries. However, we often queue for services — I had to queue for forty minutes today to return a faulty pair of headphones, and I had to queue for fifteen minutes on the phone to sort out a problem with my credit card bill (and I was surprised that it was *only* fifteen minutes).

Anyway, I brought up queuing as a metaphor for putting up with bad customer service; in particular, at attitudes towards bad customer service. When confronted with bad customer service, we tend to grit our teeth and put up with it. Sort of a "you'll eat what's in front of you and be thankful for it" kind of attitude.
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